We are always trying to bring you good ideas and tips to support your marketing efforts, but I thought it would be interesting to take a different tack and present some bad ideas (or marketing ideas that you may be encouraged to take up!) that we would recommend avoiding. The inspiration for this came from a post on a US site www.goodmarketingideas.com highlighting the top BAD marketing ideas both on and off line. If you want to read the full article, you will find a link to it here. When it comes to On-line Marketing, here are my Top 5 Bad Marketing ideas:
1. Chase The Next Big Thing
If there is one thing that web marketing thrives on it is the “Next Big Internet Thing” (NBIT). Invariably, the NBIT is sold as the answer to all your marketing desires. Whether it is: a. Get to the top of Google b. Win with Social Media c. Beat your competition with Marketing or whatever… However useful the NBIT may be as part of your marketing toolkit, you can be sure that it will not be as big as the hype. I use the 3 examples above for a reason. All can very valuable when used as part of a sustainable marketing plan, but none will individually solve your marketing problems overnight. Be vary wary of anyone claiming to be able to solve your problems overnight….for a modest fee!
2. Ignore Offline Marketing
We spend a lot of time promoting on-line marketing, because it offers may sustainable marketing opportunities to SME Marketers. But this doesn’t mean we have dismissed offline marketing. On the contrary, in its place it too can be very effective, especially when mixed with online campaigns. Take a look at a couple of recent posts on our blog, and hopefully, you will get the idea:
- QR Codes, a great way to link your online and offline marketing!
- Leverage your networking with email marketing
- Networking for people who don’t like networking!
3. Focus On You
Sure, you need to make sure that your customers know what you have to offer, and what your strengths are, but make sure you do this from their perspective, and from the context of how your product or service can benefit them, rather than how great it is!.
You are writing a marketing piece to tell your contacts about the fact that you have just invested in a new piece of equipment. Here are two ways you could write this:
- “We are delighted to announce that we have just invested £gazillions in the latest state of the art equipment that has so many bells and whistles, that we could hardly get it through the door of our office”
- “As part of our commitment to giving you the best service, we have recently invested in a new machine that will allow us to deliver higher quality results, more quickly, and at a lower cost to you than was previously possible”
Which do you think will work better?
4. Buy Bulk Email Lists
I am not saying that it is never a good idea to buy email lists, but I am saying that is my default position, unless someone can give me a very good reason why I should do it. The less you can target your list, the more likely it is to be a bad idea. There are some very big, very cheap email lists for sale out there. You work it out! In our experience, the results that are achieved from sending emails to a list of customers and contacts that you have built up yourself in the course of your business are orders of magnitude better than those achieved with bought lists. If you are thinking that you don’t have any lists of your own, or don’t see the benefit of emailing people you already know, you might find these posts interesting:
- Getting started with targeted email marketing – ‘but I don’t have a list…’
- Keeping in touch with clients delivers regular enquiries and business
5. Give Up Too Easily
This is something that many, if not most, small business marketers (myself included) are guilty of. It is very easy to have what seems like a great marketing idea, implement it, and then give up in disgust when your sales haven’t doubled in a week. The fact is that whatever anyone might tell you, there are no quick fixes in marketing and most really successful SME marketing initiatives that deliver sustained and sustainable success take time to develop. This is why it is important to develop strategies that you are happy to sustain over time so that become part of your day to day business activities. By all means, monitor, measure, review and evolve these activities on a regular basis and adjust and tweak things as appropriate. Ask yourself objectively, ‘Is my business position progressing and improving?‘ If the answer is “yes”, then don’t give up!